The Evolution of Las Vegas Entertainment
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The Evolution of Las Vegas Entertainment
Learn how some of the most influential entertainers shaped the city of Las Vegas.
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Frank Sinatra remembered: 15 years on from his death, superb pics, videos and the best Sinatra anecdotes

Frank Sinatra remembered: 15 years on from his death, superb pics, videos and the best Sinatra anecdotes | The Evolution of Las Vegas Entertainment | Scoop.it
Mirror Online pays tribute to The Chairman of the Board by recounting some of our favourite anecdotes about the entertainment legend
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Just How Did Las Vegas Go From Natural Oasis To Entertainment Capital Of The World?

Just How Did Las Vegas Go From Natural Oasis To Entertainment Capital Of The World? | The Evolution of Las Vegas Entertainment | Scoop.it

Las Vegas was first discovered by a caravan of Spanish traders looking to find a route through the Mojave Desert to Los Angeles. The Vegas valley was founded as the best place to resupply before the final stretch into California, something that would define the valley for the next 200 years. Naming it Las Vegas because of the natural springs that were bubbling up across the valley, all of these oasis made “The Meadows” the most unique place in the entire Mojave Desert. Until John C. Fremont traveled to Vegas in 1944, the valley was officially at the time a part of Mexico. Under assignment from the U.S. government, Fremont was tasked with leading a small expeditionary force of engineers and scouts to establish a fort in the valley due to the possibility of a war with Mexico. Once the group arrived they erected the fort at the well known Las Vegas Springs and when the war with Mexico finally came to a head, Las Vegas had already been claimed as part of the United States.

 

While the military fort that Fremont and his men used would stand for a number of years, there wouldn’t be a more permanent presence in the valley until 1855 when a group of Mormon missionaries came from Utah and established a new fort at the Las Vegas springs. Using flood irrigation to water their crops, the fort managed to survive until the end of the summer of 1857, when tensions within the group and the extreme heat of the valley finally broke the missionaries. After they abandoned the Springs Fort, the Mormons had returned to Utah, leaving the fort available for anyone who wished to use it. While the area would remained largely unoccupied, a handful of mountain men, hunters and travelers would utilize the two forts in the Springs, leaving little besides a temporary waypoint for passing travelers to resupply.

 

By 1865, a treaty had been established with the local Paiutes, and in return for supplies they would relocate away from the springs and the areas around the forts. Octavius Gass would end up taking one of the old forts and establishing the first ranch in the valley, “Los Vegas Rancho.” Here Octavius made wine and provided the key stop for the Mormon trail through the valley. By 1872 Gass expanded his ranch to nearly twice the size and used his position as a local Legislator to have his ranch rezoned for Nevada instead of Arizona, but less than ten years later due to financial miscalculations, Gass would give up the ranch to Archibald Stewart. Archibald would own the ranch up until his death and in the early 1900’s the ranch would be acquired by the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Rake Railroad, adding more jobs and more reason for others to make The Meadows a permanent place to call home.

 

As more Mormons migrated to the area, Agriculture would end up being the number one industry building up Las Vegas for the next 20 years. While in 1910 Nevada was hit with a strict and thorough gambling prohibition, it wouldn’t be until the 1930’s that Nevada would see the need to revitalize its soon to be titanic entertainment industry. That would be when the building of the historic Hoover Dam was commissioned, and in 1931 Las Vegas would see its local population swell from around 5,000 citizens up to around 25,000 within a matter of months! While most were unemployed males looking for a job opportunity, many families followed the men to the desert with a promise of a better life. While many business owners and crime financiers would jump on the new market by creating a series of casino and showgirl theaters meant to entertain the rougher crowds, soon the Government decided it would be better for its workers to not to be under the influence of alcohol, so the decision to build Boulder City as an official labor town under federal supervision was made.

 

It was this rush of migratory workers that helped spur the first business owners like Thomas Hull to open the very first resort on the Strip, “The El Rancho!” While the resort was more famous for its buffet than anything else, the well had been tapped and since the days of the El Rancho Las Vegas has become the entertainment capital of the world and one of the number 1 tourist destinations in the entire world!

 

So you want to learn more about the history of one the greatest cities in America? Well don’t miss your chance to see the only show in Vegas about Vegas! “VEGAS! the Show” offers a one of a kind look into the entertainment history of America’s one and only Sin City! From Elvis to Sonny and Cher, see all the excitement unfold right before your eyes, pick up your tickets to “VEGAS! the Show!” Today!

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Sean and John Scott Help To Redefine Tap-Dance as You Know It! | VEGAS! The Blog

Sean and John Scott Help To Redefine Tap-Dance as You Know It! | VEGAS! The Blog | The Evolution of Las Vegas Entertainment | Scoop.it

Sean and John Scott are taking the country by storm, and they’re using quite a unique way to do it! These two just happen to be identical twins, and the kicker is they are both lifelong professional tap-dancers! While each may bring a one of a kind style to the table, together they create an energy that is unparalleled. Melding modern forms of Hip Hop into the classic stylings of Tap dance has proved to be an innovative and natural expression to what many would be considered an old-school style of dancing.

 

Since the age of 6 these two phenoms have been working with world renowned tap-dancing master Alfred Desio at the Colburn School of Performing Arts, honing their skills and allowing them to essentially become masters of the art at a relatively young age. Born and raised in Los Angeles , CA these two were surrounded by the waves created due to the birth of Hip-Hop. But before all of that they would land their first professional gig at age 8, blending their background with the precise training of Alfred Desio, these two would invent an electric new style that would grab the attention of Vaunted celebrities and new musicians alike!

 

Featured in a number of commercials and TV Spots such as NBC’s “American Dream” , Appearing on the Tonight Show and even performing with Tony Danza at the famous “People’s Choice Awards.” The Scott twins would see rapidly rising success, landing a spot on a primetime Target Commercial, they would also end up being invited to highly popular MTV Music Awards.  Here they would perform with massive cultural icons and Entertainment sensations such as Pop singer Christina Aguilera and Hip-Hop sensation “Nelly.” With such an open and universal style, these two could hold performances with musicians and artists of any genre!

 

Their exposure didn’t leave them unnoticed, as some even bigger names began to take notice of the unique brand of tap-dance the Scott bro’s bring with their performances. Names such as Prince and Stevie Wonder would personally ask the Brothers to perform live with them, and even having the honors of touring with Mary Wilson of The Supremes. They would also find themselves center stage for an off-Broadway musical, using these stepping stones they would eventually be asked by R&B Singer Usher to choreograph his special event, the “Movie Rocks Awards” which is no small feat! Having also performed with legendary tap-dancers, The Nicholas Brothers, the twins also managed to get the notice of Beyonce Knowles as well! Tagging along with Beyonce on her world crossing “I Am” tour, these two guys have managed to develop a star studded resume based on a unique skill few others can match.

 

So now that you are familiar with the world famous Scott Brothers, why not come and see them live at the only show in Vegas about Vegas? Only at “VEGAS! The Show” so come see Sean and John Scott show off their incredible skill live on stage, only at Saxe Theater today!

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Meet the King of Swing Louis Prima!

Meet the King of Swing Louis Prima! | The Evolution of Las Vegas Entertainment | Scoop.it

A few years after Louie hit the scene starting at New York’s famed 52nd street, Prima had put together a 22 piece band to back him up. At the time Louie was on a mission creating a whole new genre, swing! Coining the phrase swing, and setting the tone for what would be an infectious new music scene. Louie was helping to re-inspire integration among not only immigrants but everybody in the country. He never shied away from multi-cultural venues, and was always proud of his cosmopolitan heritage. Born in New Orleans and raised by Proud Italian American’s, Louis introduced America to many Italian customs and helped start an unprecedented trend towards Italian culture. His songs were Introducing the Average guy to Pizza, antipasto, and much more all through his progressive new form of music. Other great Italian singers were pushed forward by this emerging new trend, even Dean Martin rode the wave!


As America danced on, Louie made history selling out theaters all over the country. Breaking records throughout Cleveland, Philadelphia, Detroit and more as Prima Fever was in full swing! Given warm welcomes wherever he went, he was invited to the White House by Eleanor Roosevelt, a fellow cosmopolitan thinker who at the time was making huge ground in integration and defending civil rights. Loving his attitude of acceptance, and his often breakneck deals he would push corporations into, he became a personal favorite of Mrs. Roosevelt. But Louie was in the end most interested in his music and how it could unite people, so he continued to perform wherever he was wanted and that includes at the time segregated venues. Garnering fans from all walks of life he continued to push out hits talking about his Italian heritage and introducing the new and catchy swing. In the 50’s Louis sought to catch up with the times, he cut some pieces from his band and went to back to a more traditional New Orleans southern sound.


Fast forward to the late 60’s and 70’s, and to the once remote desert outpost, Las Vegas! Prima continued to break records at casinos as he set the new standard of Showmanship, more than just a household name nobody would ask you if you liked Louis, they just assumed. Playing and selling out showrooms at the legendary Sands, The Sahara, the Hilton and Tropicana, and even going up north to make rounds in Reno and Carson City. The legend had been born in Vegas and the style of swing was now as American as Baseball and Hotdogs. Until his passing 1979 Prima would enjoy massive success in Vegas and beyond as he continued to push out records and hits beloved by all. To this day he is still referred to as the King of Swing, and that’s no understatement. Developing a style of music that would brand the very Vegas that stands today gives Louis Prima a special place in all of our hearts and in the soul of the city that was made better in part due to his artistic efforts, so come and see Prima in all his glory as he performs on classic Las Vegas stages with some of the artists he himself helped to influence.

 

Get your tickets to “VEGAS! The Show” today!

 

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The Rat Pack Returns to Vegas

The Rat Pack Returns to Vegas | The Evolution of Las Vegas Entertainment | Scoop.it

In the 1950's and 60's it was all about the dashing entertainers. Gentelmen who were not only great actors but who looked the part on and off screen. A wide range of talents made them even more desirable to both directors and fans. Perhaps some of the most memorable entertainers from this era were Humphry Bogart, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr and Frank Sinatra. They were the quintessential all-around entertainers. They could sing, dance act and they looked good doing it. Individually their accomplishments stretched over the course of many years. Awards, countless acting credits and many honors. As was almost standard during this time, this group of high profile superstars began to be cast in the same project. This of course lead to friendships and the eventual formation of what is now known as The Rat Pack. It was clear that the star power within the group was enough to propel their fame to a whole different level.

 

They began to star in movies together, TV shows and even started showing up at the others solo performances. While the core members stayed the same there were the occasional sit in's which included Nat King Cole and Mickey Rooney; among others. As time went on the group became widely recognized all over the country. They frequently held performances in Las Vegas and other major cities. Often times when one member was scheduled to appear, the others would show up leading to a lot of impromptu performances by all the key members. After a while the group slowly faded out of the spotlight until 1987 when it was announced that they would be getting back together for a 29 show tour. Initially the shows were a huge hit, but after a short while members started to drop out due to increasing health problems. In addition Sammy Davis Jr. died due to throat cancer. They were one of the first entertainment 'supergroups' of the time and left a lasting legacy both as individuals and as 'The Rat Pack'.

 

Since the time of the Rat Pack there have been many portrayals and tributes. All of which provide the audience with a glimpse as to who they were. There is however not a more fitting tribute than the one that is included as part of 'VEGAS! The Show'. Not only does the show offer a look back at what Vegas was like during the peak time of The Rat Pack, it also showcases each member and the group as they rose to prominence and hit the big time in Las Vegas. All of their duets as well as some of their biggest solo hits, all performed live! You can relive the glory days as part of this all-star tribute to one of the biggest groups in entertainment history. They are just one part of an incredible Las Vegas production show that is being hailed as the best show of its kind in the last 20 years. Take a trip back in time and see for yourself. Get your tickets for VEGAS! The Show, right now.

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Frank Sinatra's desert retreat back on market at $4 million

Frank Sinatra's desert retreat back on market at $4 million | The Evolution of Las Vegas Entertainment | Scoop.it
In the on-again, off-again world of real estate listings, a home once owned by crooner Frank Sinatra that surfaced five years ago is back – this time priced at $3.995 million. That's $1 million off the 2008 asking price.
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Presenting Reva Rice of VEGAS! The Show!

Presenting Reva Rice of VEGAS! The Show! | The Evolution of Las Vegas Entertainment | Scoop.it

Having been a resident of the Vegas Valley for 17 years, Reva is in the perfect spot to represent a city practically made for Ms. Rice! Born and raised in Toledo, OH, Reva started her passion for entertainment early on. Like the true natural she was, Reva was only 5 years old when she was introducing herself to the world of singing and dancing, and she even learned to play the piano.  Later on Reva would find herself graduating from the historic and cultural icon that is the Boston Conservatory of Music, famous for making a number of social statements that were at the time unheard of.  Founded in 1867, The Boston Conservatory has seen a number of America’s most talented entertainers pass through it’s doors.

 

As well as making heaping contributions the earliest of progressive social movements, all founded by famous enlightened composer and violinist Julius Eichberg. Eichberg, being of a mind far ahead of his time, helped to develop a school and thought process seen as modern even by today’s standards.

 

Eichberg established the first open performance by an African American opera company, “Eichbergs Opera.” This was at the time unparalleled, and Eichberg even started the “Eichberg String Quartet” which was Americas first all female quartet! After Reva’s graduation she would end up landing a gig in one of the most historical productions of the 80’s and early 90’s, The Starlight Express.

Put together by world famous director and playwright Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Reva would find herself performing in the key role of “Pearl” on the shows bombastic 1992 London run and would be Reva’s very first leading role in a major production.

 

Later on another one of Revas big roles would be as the infamous Velma Kelly in the hit production “Chicago!” The productions itself would get high reviews, but Reva’s Performance ended up being the highlight as many claimed “She didn’t shy away from the slimier aspects of her character.” Reva Rice played in the same role that landed Catherine-Zeta-Jones her Oscar for Supporting Actress.

 

Now Reva is stationed in Las Vegas, and under the production put on from the ground up by famed Las Vegas based producer David Saxe, Reva is the lead actress. VEGAS The Show has received top-notch reviews across the board, and has even won Best Resident Show of Las Vegas for 2012 and as of this moment is one of the top contenders for the same title in 2013.

 

So don’t miss out on your chance to see this nationally renowned singing and acting sensation, Reva Rice, only at “VEGAS! The Show” today!

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Lady Luck Lives On Through The Beautiful Tara Palsha!

Lady Luck Lives On Through The Beautiful Tara Palsha! | The Evolution of Las Vegas Entertainment | Scoop.it

If you have been to Las Vegas recently, there is no possible way you missed Tara Palsha plastered in that glitzy green dress with the words “VEGAS! The Show” in cursive beside her on a billboard somewhere around town. If you haven’t, where were you? She’s Quickly becoming an icon faster than the billboard with the girls who linked arms and showed their...well you get the picture! But she’s a little more than “Just” Lady Luck, she is actually the lead dancer, and has been for the shows nearly two and a half year lifetime. No stranger to show business, or Vegas styled entertainment, Tara made her big break in Atlantic City before she made it to Vegas. Describing herself as a classic “Bun-head” Tara courageously made the leap from Ballet Dancer to Showgirl, and boy has it paid off. Playing a traditional Copa Girl for a group of Rat Pack impersonators, Vegas wasn’t the first place she donned the pink feathers of the old school showgirl. But all of this isn’t where Tara came from, born and raised in Pittsburgh, Tara originally sought out a career in ballet, musical theater and singing. With a world class opera singer for a mother, her introduction into show business was, early, to say the least!


With an obvious edge over most due to her early start, Tara Palsha is anything but your average dancer and she shows it with a flair only Tara could pull off. Incorporating the classic Hollywood style with glamour and her trademark Beauty, you would really think this renowned dancer had stepped off of a time machine complete with all the elegance of the old days. But this is no science fiction story, Tara is the real deal and VEGAS! The Show isn’t the first time she set foot on a stage in Las Vegas.


Well there is this little Donn Arden production that’s been on The Strip for about 30 years now, wisely named Jubilee, Ever heard of it? Well of course you have, ahem, anyway When Tara first made her Vegas move 8 years ago Jubilee would be her first stop on the show circuit, and needless to say her beauty was welcomed with open arms. There was another production Tara was involved with for a time, and it too made waves like a giant yacht in glass water with a giant bunny silhouette on the side, Peepshow! Never can we forget her time in the always popular production “Fantasy” either, which has been running for nearly 13 years! Like I said, Tara is no stranger to show business, and especially Las Vegas show business!


But now with her residence at the Saxe theater we are more than glad to have her doing what she does best every night, would luck be the word? Probably not, as Tara has mentioned before she is attempting to drive her career towards singing because who can dance forever? So look out, this star is getting brighter and brighter by the day!

 

So get your tickets today to the critically acclaimed and award winning “VEGAS! The Show” and see Luck Be A Lady Tonight!

 

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The Atomic powered Singer and His Effect on Las Vegas!

The Atomic powered Singer and His Effect on Las Vegas! | The Evolution of Las Vegas Entertainment | Scoop.it

Words can’t properly describe the mythos surrounding Elvis Presley. Elvis was a man who embodied all the possibilities of Las Vegas. While often times the way he is portrayed in the mainstream is via impersonators and drive through wedding chapels, there is more to understand about why Vegas is so obsessed with Elvis Presley. Maybe it was the way Las Vegas was his debut to fame, but how many know that during his first two week run critics hailed him a bore and even nonsensical? Yes, in 1956 Elvis was considered by those (who claim to know their music) to be a flop. Where the myth gets interesting is how he would not return to a stage in town for thirteen years. While on his extended stay away from Vegas, Elvis managed to take his image of a teen heartthrob into new territory with his movie “Viva Las Vegas”, while also proving to the critics he was more than meets the eye.

 

But in 1969 his career would take its most successful turn with the opening of the International Hotel in Las Vegas. Barbara Streisand may have opened the International Showroom in 1969, but Elvis performed his first show at the showroom to an ironically international, sold out crowd making the legendary stage famous. This would begin a mind boggling streak of sold out performances unprecedented still to this day. Presley performed 837 consecutive sold out performances, to over 2.5 million people. It’s safe to say those numbers had never been imagined in those days, they now estimate he all together brought in 43 million dollars in ticket sales throughout his streak. A performing powerhouse, Elvis could be found recording back and forth between Memphis, Dallas and Vegas. In 1970, less than a year after Elvis’ debut at the International Showroom, his manager put in his resignation at RCA records to work for Elvis exclusively. This marked the beginning of the kings’ reign as rumors began to circulate about a possible concert tour, which would be his first since the 50’s.

 

In 1972 he embarked on his first tour in a decade to the jubilation of millions. Thanks to his Las Vegas gigs and a nation-wide tour where he continued to break records in every city, Elvis had become the biggest superstar America had ever known. David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Sammie Davis Jr., John Lennon and Art Garfunkel are a few of the big names reported to be seen at Elvis shows during his early to mid 70’s explosion. But as Elvis was at the height of his fame, it would be suddenly cut short, and it would remain that December 1976 would be his last performance in Las Vegas. Since then an army of impersonators have descended on the city making it or leaving broke, but few live up to the caliber of the real Elvis. Until now! Located at Saxe Theater , this is a show that highlights and appreciates some of the biggest names in Vegas entertainment, and Elvis is given all the love he ever wanted. Having won “Best resident show of 2012”, VEGAS! The Show is your best chance to experience all the flair of the King Himself in this one of a kind tribute, did we mention you can hear the Rat Pack go at it too?

 

Come and get your tickets to “VEGAS! The Show” today and see why Elvis and other entertainers helped define the mythos that built Las Vegas!

 

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